Mill Valley and Tiburon to hire a Climate Official

Sam Sumski

Located in Mill Valley, the city’s community center represents a sustainable business and place of work. (Photo by Sam Kimball)

In November 2022, the city of Mill Valley created a Climate Action Plan to achieve by the year 2030. The city has drafted a set of goals based on sustainability and preservation of the environment for future generations, including a net carbon reduction of 47 percent. In order to reach these goals, the cities of Tiburon and Mill Valley have joined together in hiring a Climate Official, who will be in charge of determining what the cities must do in order to reach the goal.

Vice Mayor of Mill Valley, Urban Carmel, has had a major role in the beginning stages of the climate fight for his city. Aiding and overseeing the Climate Action Plan, Carmel has high hopes for the Climate Official’s potential.

“We have specifically created this position in order to help with communication and spreading the word [about climate change],” Carmel said. “This official is essential to our plan to attack climate change and reduce carbon emissions.”

The official will be splitting time between Tiburon and Mill Valley equally, as both cities have similar intentions regarding climate change. The two cities are delighted to have set their standards and goals at a difficult, but attainable, level.

“Every city across the state has goals and high marks they hope to achieve, and we are extremely proud that we set the bar so high at 47 percent reduction of carbon emissions — [which is] second in Marin,” Carmel said.

Looking over Mill Valley, the community center stands prominently, projecting their sustainable path to a better future. (Photo by Sam Kimball)

Senior Planner Danielle Staude has also had a large hand in the process of Mill Valley’s Climate Action Plan. She explained the Climate Official will make a large impact on every resident in the city. 

“We always hear about global warming and how the ocean is rising. I think the majority of Mill Valley residents want to make a difference; they just might not know how,” Staude said. “This is where the Climate Official comes in to make the difference we need. Through communication and educating the public on how to make smart decisions that will impact the planet more beneficially, we can help our town reach the end goal.”

Staude and Urban both mentioned that reaching their ambitious 47 percent goal will not be easy, as 75 percent of Mill Valley and Tiburons’ carbon emissions come from transportation alone. While this number may currently appear very high, there has been an improvement over the past decade. 

Sector-based greenhouse gasses vs. consumption-based greenhouse gasses.

“In 2020, Mill Valley reduced its carbon footprint by 24 percent from 1990 levels. To reach the 2030 goal, we would need to reduce our footprint by another 23 percent in the next seven years,” Staude said.

Staude and Urban are both optimistic about the new position and the possibilities that are brought about in its hiring. Going into the future, there is a lot of work ahead, but with interviews coming to a close for the new Climate Official, the cities of Tiburon and Mill Valley have somebody to lead the charge.